Can solar energy save the crumbling electric grid during heatwaves?

As extreme temperatures strain electric grids in the U.S., many parts of the country could face blackouts. Solar energy can help protect the grid during extreme heat, but it comes with the added cost of increasing climate waste and decreasing efficiency. Photo illustration: Xingpei Shen

How the heat wave can affect the power grid.

A deadly heat wave is spreading across the U.S., bringing record-breaking temperatures to some states and affecting millions of people. WSJ’s Jennifer Hiller breaks down how the heat can impact our power grids. Photo: Ash Ponders/Bloomberg News

Texas power grid struggles with system-wide stresses caused by brutal heat wave.

A record heat wave, and its connections to climate change, are highlighting again the growing concerns around America’s electrical grid and whether it can withstand the added stress. In Texas, which operates its own electrical grid, power demand hit an all-time high this week. William Brangham discussed more with Michael Webber, a professor of energy resources at the University of Texas.

Adding capacity to the electricity grid is not a simple task.

Chill sun solar, a facility in Nevada with a generating capacity of 2.25gw, should produce enough electricity to meet 1.7% of California’s annual demand. The 4.1gw Berwick Bank wind farm, off the east coast of Scotland, will provide more energy over a year than could Britain’s two largest gas-fired power stations running full tilt.